Tuesday, October 19, 2004

It's Not the Idea. It's the Execution.

"Always remember that business ideas are a dime a dozen. Just think of the dotcom era of four years ago. But what really matters is the execution and the quality of the team, something the majority of those dotcoms lacked in. I have heard many a venture capitalist say that he or she would rather have an A management team and a B business concept that an A business concept and a B management team. It is not the idea, it is the people, and their ability to execute, that matters. It is not the idea. It is the people, and their ability to execute, that matters."

This was written by:
Ryan P. Allis, 19, is an economics major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the founder of The Entrepreneurs' Coalition, a non-profit organization dedicated to building an international network of entrepreneurs, founder of www.zeromillion.com, and CEO and President of Virante, Inc. a North Carolina based software development and ebusiness consulting firm

It's Not the Idea. It's the Execution.

"Always remember that business ideas are a dime a dozen. Just think of the dotcom era of four years ago. But what really matters is the execution and the quality of the team, something the majority of those dotcoms lacked in. I have heard many a venture capitalist say that he or she would rather have an A management team and a B business concept that an A business concept and a B management team. It is not the idea, it is the people, and their ability to execute, that matters. It is not the idea. It is the people, and their ability to execute, that matters."

This was written by:

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Lending technologies

Danah Boyd asks :

"Why can't i just have the digital equivalent to my little Excel file that says 'lent to XX'? Why can't i just be forced to re-acquire the book before lending it out again? I do this all the time (or i'm forced to buy a new copy myself... i'm on copy #17 of Stone Butch Blues). I want a lending solution for digital technology damnit!"

Before applying, check out the blogs

"Job seekers use blogs to establish a strong online presence, display their skills and advertise their availability. For many just out of college, the blog is an essential networking tool because it is common for bloggers to link back and forth to others with recent posts. Corporate recruiters, in turn, use blogs to draw in qualified candidates, and they search for potential hires by reading bloggers who write about topics relevant to a particular industry.

A driving factor behind job market blogging is the search engine Google, said Elizabeth Lawley, associate professor of information technology at the Rochester Institute of Technology. 'If you are thinking of interviewing someone, it's almost standard now to Google them online and see what you find,' Lawley said. 'If that person has a blog, it's usually the first thing that comes up.'"


So all of your MBAs out there, this is your big opportunity. Yes, some blogs have come up, written by MBAs chronicling their course details but not really serious networkers.

Again, as Networking goes, blogging basically makes it easier to have a online presence, but there is still a need to follow the basics of networking and understanding the Rule of Win-Win by Dave Winer.

The Rule of Win-Win says that by choosing to participate in the Web, I can promote my own interests, but I must acknowledge the existence of others and their interests. I don't sacrifice the truth in furthering my cause. In fact, if you accept the Rule of Win-Win, the truth is your first cause, it comes before all others.


Before applying, check out the blogs

"Job seekers use blogs to establish a strong online presence, display their skills and advertise their availability. For many just out of college, the blog is an essential networking tool because it is common for bloggers to link back and forth to others with recent posts. Corporate recruiters, in turn, use blogs to draw in qualified candidates, and they search for potential hires by reading bloggers who write about topics relevant to a particular industry.

A driving factor behind job market blogging is the search engine Google, said Elizabeth Lawley, associate professor of information technology at the Rochester Institute of Technology. 'If you are thinking of interviewing someone, it's almost standard now to Google them online and see what you find,' Lawley said. 'If that person has a blog, it's usually the first thing that comes up.'"


So all of your MBAs out there, this is your big opportunity. Yes, some blogs have come up, written by MBAs chronicling their course details but not really serious networkers.

Again, as Networking goes, blogging basically makes it easier to have a online presence, but there is still a need to follow the basics of networking and understanding the Rule of Win-Win by Dave Winer.

The Rule of Win-Win says that by choosing to participate in the Web, I can promote my own interests, but I must acknowledge the existence of others and their interests. I don't sacrifice the truth in furthering my cause. In fact, if you accept the Rule of Win-Win, the truth is your first cause, it comes before all others.


Podcasting

"NBC4 adds:

Podcasting allows you to subscribe to feeds, which include links to audio programs. Every time one of your subscriptions posts a new program, it automatically downloads onto your computer. You then transfer those shows to a portable music device, listen to it throughout your house via a wireless connection or take it with you wherever you go. Think of it as a personalized radio station that you program and change whenever you want.

The technical explanation is a bit more complex. The idea originally grew out of the Apple iPod community, where Adam Curry helped develop a piece of software called iPodder. iPodder automatically routes an audio program to an iPod and makes the process relatively seamless. It wasn't long before similar solutions sprung up for use with other devices.

The programs are delivered via an RSS feed, and there are already millions of computer users subscribing to at least a few text feeds of blogs and other sites. The RSS feed contains a link, which notifies your computer that a new audio program is available and begins downloading it into a pre-selected spot on your computer.

Podcasting -- like blogging -- seems to combine the best of the Internet with the best of traditional media. It's a way for someone to create and distribute a show to 40 people. And it also would allow a media company to distribute audio content to millions."

Friday, October 01, 2004

Joel on Software - It's Not Just Usability

Joel on Software - It's Not Just Usability:

"My goal today is not to whine about how usability is not important... usability is important at the margins, and there a lots of examples where bad usability kills people in small planes, creates famine and pestilence, etc.

My goal today is to talk about the next level of software design issues, after you've got the UI right: designing the social interface.

I need to explain that, I guess."

Joel on Software - Bionic Office

"Well, it's my own damn company and I can do something about it, so I did."

That was Joel on his office and company. I sure want to work in a place like that. Better still do something like that for my company.

Bnoopy: Persistence Pays.

Joe Kraus, one of the founders of Excite starts his blog on Entre. He tells a great story about Vinod Khosla.

Bnoopy: Persistence Pays. Part 1:

"The meetings we're all the same. We showed them our search technology, showed them 'concept-based' search, and showed them targeted advertising. To a firm, the first question they asked was a very reasonable one: 'great stuff guys, but what's your business plan? how are you going to make money?' Of course, being 22 years old and fresh out of college we replied, 'we thought you could help us out with that.' Apparently, that's the wrong answer. Who knew?

Rinse, lather, repeat.

Then we met Vinod...

By then, our deal had developed a certain 'smell' -- smart guys with interesting technology but an uncertain business plan. The demo to Vinod started off like they all did, but about 10 minutes into the meeting things got very different. He interrupted

'Can the technology scale? can you search a large database?'

Big Pause. It's not the money question. No one has ever asked us this before. Ummm.

'We don't know, we can't afford a hard drive big enough to test.'

Then, an amazing thing happened. Ten minutes into this meeting, his first introduction to the company and us, he pulls out his his cell phone, dials his assistant and buys us a $10,000, 10Gb hard drive."

Joel on Software - Work space quality references

Joel on Software - Work space quality references: "Over the years with several changes of employer and different assignments and various office moves for each employer, I came to realize that the quality of the workspace can have quite an effect on productivity as well as job satisfaction. In fact, one wonders why anyone is concerned with implementing software development processes when most developers are having a hard time concentrating on any task for more than ten minutes between ringing telephones in the next cubicle, howling HVAC systems or any of the other myriad distractions that prevent one from just sitting down and getting a 2-3 hour task completed.

Here is my description of a good workspace for software development: A quiet private office with a door and a clear window for each individual developer. For team projects the offices should be arranged together with convenient common areas.

I happened to find the Fog Creek and JoS web sites a few years ago when doing a web search trying to find employers that provided good workspace. As anyone who has worked in the field for long knows, the employers that provide good workspace are extremely rare. The people who are in charge of facilities are usually concerned with costs, not usefulness. "